SPOKANE, Wash. -- A suspected burglar in east Spokane leaves the scene of the crime on a stretcher.
The homeowner put that man in a headlock. The couple who lives in the home says they weren’t about to stand by and let the suspected thief get away easily.
“We have a lot of drifters that come by here,” Diana Dilitz said.
Dilitz and Duane Veter say one of those drifters tried to get away with a pricey portable auto diagnostic machine Monday afternoon. The couple was sitting in their living near Stone and Pacific when they heard the alarm go off to the motion detector in the garage.
Dilitz chased the man, yelled at him to give back their stuff and called 911. She says the suspect didn’t approve. He allegedly hit her in the face, broke her glasses and tried to take her phone.
“I was struggling with him to keep hold of my phone and my boyfriend comes out,” Dilitz said.
That’s when Veter, who is much taller and bigger than the suspect burglar, stepped in and tackled him.
“She was yelling and said some guy hit her and took a machine out of the garage. He was running that way,” Veter said. “I grabbed him by the neck and had him down like this. I was just lying on top of him. I had one arm underneath him, one arm on top of him and just kept squeezing his neck and wouldn’t let him go, but he was trying.”
Minutes later, police arrived.
“They all thought it was kind of funny. They were laughing when they saw me on top of that guy.”
Veter says an ambulance took away the suspect on a stretcher and in a neck brace.
“I was mad. He hit my girl.”
The suspect, 50-year-old Tracey Rehbein, faces burglary and assault charges.